The Second Amendments right to keep and bear arms has been among the most controversialand least understoodrights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Did the Founders intend to safeguard an individual right or a collective right?
Congestion is not a fact of life, declared Mr. Mineta, We need a new approach, and we need it now. Such an approach is presented in the new Independent Institute book, Street Smart: Competition, Entrepreneurship and the Future of Roads.
Astronomical housing costs, suffocating traffic congestion, and pollution take a heavy toll on our quality of life. Are these problems the inescapable consequences of modern life or the results of poor government policies? Proponents of "smart growth" seek to correct them by replacing suburban living with high-density, urban living and public transit. Others seeks to extend and expand current public and private systems. But how smart are these and other approaches? Would market-based alternatives be preferable to create sustainable communities? Urban economists Randal O'Toole and Daniel Klein discussed innovative "smarter growth" solutions for affordable housing, transportation, land use, and the quality of life in our communities.
With the recent school massacre in Littleton, Colorado; the shootings of Jewish children in Los Angeles; and rampant drive-by shootings and other atrocities, what can and should be done to protect the innocent against violence in American society? Can government protect the citizenry against gun-related violence? What is the record of individual self-defense against violence in Britain and the U.S.? In this very timely Independent Policy Forum, acclaimed historian Joyce Lee Malcolm and civil rights attorney Don Kates will examine gun laws, violence, and rights.
With California's current economic despair, how will we get the economy out of its rut? With compelling portraits of those who defy convention to originate the products that fire a growing economy, George Gilder will deliver an ardent message: People must be free as entrepreneurs to innovate and create new wealth through market-based enterprises which benefit everyone.
More than any other nation, America has benefited from entrepreneurial freedom. But whereas in the 1980s, the "Forbes 400" of wealthiest people experienced it's biggest turnover ever, going into the 1990s, our growth and prosperity appear to have stalled.
High tax rates, regulations, and runaway liability today are stifling such progress, especially for the very poor. Chosen not by blood, credentials, education, or service to the establishment, entrepreneurs succeed by performance alone. for service to consumers. Henry Ford, Sam Walton, Steve Wozniak, Soichiro Honda, William Hewlett & David Packard, Sony's Akio Morita, and Bill Gates all began in the "skunk works" of their trades. All had to stoop to conquer, and they embody the entrepreneur whose worth is retained only through constant work and satisfying the customers.
George Glider will demonstrate how we can recapture this essential spirit of enterprise. If entrepreneurs are freed and allowed to rise up and meet the challenges of the future, America and California will once again become first by serving others.